Amplifying the power in HER voice because today’s woman is #BeyondCapable

Amplifying the power in HER voice because today’s woman is #BeyondCapable
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She Did It Her Way: Trailblazing Women in the 21st Century

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Inspiring women making a mark in history and showing what it means to be beyond capable.

Jacinda Ardern, former Prime Minister of New Zealand

When Ardern was elected as Prime Minister of New Zealand in 2017, she instantly gained popularity for her compassionate and progressive approach to leadership. While her stint as New Zealand’s youngest Prime Minister faced some of the toughest challenges a leader has had to face, including the 2019 mosque shooting in Christchurch and the COVID pandemic the following year. 

Because of her excellent leadership, Ardern was honored with the Gleitsman International Activist Award from the Harvard Kennedy School in 2020. Three years later, New Zealand also awarded Ardern the title of dame, one of the country’s highest honors.

Since stepping down from her role as Prime Minister in February 2023, Ardern assumed an unpaid role as an envoy for Christchurch Call, where she helps fight online extremism and terrorism. In addition, she joined as a trustee of Prince William’s The Earthshot Prize, an award-giving body recognizing five winners annually for their work on environmental issues.

Finally, Ardern was also chosen for three fellowships at Harvard last fall.

Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta (formerly Facebook)

Sandberg made waves in the fight for feminism with her book, “Lean In,” which sparked a worldwide movement as it urged women to reach for their goals and push past gender stereotypes.

Through her contributions at Meta and her work at the Lean In Foundation, Sandberg has emphasized the importance of gender equality in the corporate world. Her insight on balancing one’s career and family life resonated with and empowered a lot of women. 

Having made major contributions to Meta’s growth and success, Sandberg was appointed as the first woman to serve on the company’s board of directors.

Outside of her corporate achievements, Sandberg founded the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation that is geared towards economic empowerment and education for women.

Malala Yousafzai, Advocate for Young Girl’s Education

In 2014, 17-year-old Yousafzai became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner for fearlessly fighting for girls’ right to education in Pakistan.

At 11 years old, Yousafzai bravely gave her first public speech, “How Dare the Taliban Take Away My Right to Basic Education?” at a local press club in Peshawar. She also documented her life under the Taliban in an online diary published by the BBC in 2009.

When Yousafzai was 15, a group of Taliban fighters hijacked the bus she was riding home from school and shot her in the head, grazing her skull and her jawbone. But the strong-willed activist survived the assassination attempt, which only strengthened her will to keep fighting for education for Pakistani girls.

In 2013, Yousafzai founded the Malala Fund to ensure that girls living in the most challenging regions have access to education.

Yousafzai’s story of resilience in fighting for what she believed in earned her a number of accolades, including an honorary Canadian citizenship and the United Nations Messenger of Peace Award.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, United States Representative (NY-14)

Also known by her initials AOC, Alexandria started to cement her legacy in 2019 when she was sworn in as the youngest woman and youngest Latina to serve in Congress. 

AOC’s grit and dedication to tackling issues affecting the working class comes from her life experience pulling extra shifts bartending to support her family after her father passed away from cancer.

AOC is also a fierce advocate for migrants to be treated with dignity amidst the border crisis.

During her first term, AOC saw three amendments passed into law, including providing treatment for opioid addiction and cleaning up toxic military waste in Puerto Rico. She also introduced more than 20 pieces of legislation aimed at raising the poverty line, requiring federal contractors to pay a living wage, upholding renters’ rights and capping credit card interest rates at 15 percent.

AOC recently won Democratic primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District, marking her fourth term in Congress. 

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of World Trade Organization (WTO)

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala made history as the first woman and first African to lead the World Trade Organization (WTO). With a wealth of experience in international finance and development, she’s a powerhouse in global trade, working to promote fair practices and support developing nations.

With over 40 years of experience as a global finance expert under her belt, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s insight into global economics and trade has become highly regarded around the world. She believes that the power of trade will promote economic growth in developing countries. 

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s role as a pioneer for women and Africans in global institutions has proven that diversity in leadership can drive positive global change.

Serena Williams, Former Professional Tennis Player

Williams, regarded as one of the greatest athletes of all time, has redefined success both on and off the tennis court. With 23 Grand Slam singles titles under her belt, Williams has proven that she is a powerhouse in sports.

But Williams’ influence goes beyond athletics. Williams also advocates for gender equality, racial justice, and maternal health. Her philanthropic efforts include founding the Yetunde Price Resource Center, which extends assistance to those affected by trauma.

The center collaborates with various local nonprofits to provide healing-centered programs to the residents of Compton, Calif.

Greta Thunberg, Climate Justice Activist

At a young age, Thunberg has rallied millions of youth around the world to demand action on climate change.

Thunberg’s activism started in 2018, when she skipped school to camp out in front of the Swedish Parliament to protest. Since then, she has become a global icon for climate justice, inspiring thousands of students around the world to also skip school on Fridays and join Thunberg’s #FridaysforFuture strikes.

Thunberg had been named as TIME’s Person of the Year in 2019, making her the youngest person to receive the honor. She has also been invited to give speeches to politicians, the EU parliament and other world leaders at the UN Climate Action Summit. 

Thunberg has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize every year since 2019.

Kamala Harris, Vice President of the U.S.

VP Harris became the first female, first Black and first South Asian Vice President of the United States when she and President Biden won the election in 2020. 

During her stint as Attorney General of California, VP Harris assisted Californians whose homes had been foreclosed on to win a $20 billion settlement. She also fought for students and veterans who were preyed on by a for-profit education company. 

Her work as Vice President has been focused on women’s rights and fighting gun violence to name a few. She has also been advocating for environmental protection and safeguarding LGBTQ+ rights.

Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code

When Saujani founded Girls Who Code in 2012, her goal was to close the gender gap in the tech industry around the world. To date, her organization has equipped thousands of young women with the skills and confidence to succeed in tech careers.

During her time as the CEO of Girls Who Code, Saujani established the organization as one of the largest nonprofits in the country. Her advocacy also extends to elevating women’s labor in and out of the home through her Moms First (formerly Marshall Plan for Moms) initiative. 

Saujani has received numerous awards, including the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Prize in Education. She also landed a spot in Forbes’ 40 Under 40 in 2105. 

Amanda Gorman, American Poet and Activist

Gorman captured the world’s attention when President Biden chose her to read her poem, “The Hill We Climb” during the 2021 Presidential Inauguration. 

In 2017, Gorman was recognized as the first National Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, a title bestowed upon a young person who has demonstrated skill in poetry, is a proven leader committed to social justice and is active in civic discourse and advocacy.

Gorman is the founder and executive director of One Pen, One Page, a nonprofit promoting literacy among young people by providing free creative writing programs in underserved areas.

Gorman has inspired many young Americans with her powerful words, her advocacy for social justice and her role as a formidable leader in the arts. Her ability to capture collective consciousness with her poetry has made her a symbol of hope and empowerment for many.

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